My Personal Hike
Not long after coming to Trinity to serve as your pastor, I determined to hike from the front lawn of Trinity Baptist Church to the place of my birth in Kerrville. Step by step I wanted to connect God’s current calling in my life to where my life began. My personal hike is now complete, and it was a rich and meaningful challenge.
As we often must do, I divided my goal into a manageable size. I reached my goal by hiking in the following 6 segments:
- As I hiked from Trinity’s front lawn to Leon Springs, I thanked God for my calling to be your pastor and to serve in this region. I prayed for our growing work in America’s 7th largest city.
- As I hiked from Dad’s & Mother’s gravesite in Boerne to Po Po Restaurant in Nelson City/Welfare, I thanked God for my hometown’s influence.
- As I hiked from Po Po to High’s Cafe in Comfort, I thanked God that even on a cold/drizzly day the Hill Country is beautiful. I reflected on how similar it looks to Galilee, the region in Israel where Jesus grew up and did 85% of his ministry.
- As I hiked from Comfort to Barn Burgers in Center Point, I thanked God for the ranch & farm land that is significant for our region, and remembered how Trinity envisioned His Hill.
- As I hiked from Center Point to Kerrville, I imagined the car ride Mother & Dad took from Boerne to the Sid Peterson Hospital in downtown Kerrville. And I prayed for my family and our families.
If you know your geography, you have already realized that I have not yet listed my hike from Leon Springs to Boerne. That’s the hike that got me started on this trek. During my college days, late one summer night after a date with Vicki I was returning to Boerne from her home in S.A. I hit a deer with my car and that 8 point buck killed my Plymouth Duster. So I walked from Leon Springs to Boerne in that era prior to cell phones. During that midnight hike I just prayed to get home alive. God answered that prayer, continued to prepare me, and I am grateful He has allowed me to serve Him as a pastor.
Several weeks ago on the Friday of Spring Break, I took my last of approximately 172,000 steps to connect the bookends of my life. As T.S. Eliot wrote, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
God’s promises unfold as we follow the pathways we should pursue. I am grateful for how His promises have brought us together. From my hike, I feel renewed in His power. He is the promise maker and the promise keeper.
As an aside and because of my gratitude for the prayerful energy you give my family, I want to share the good news with you that on March 17th Ryan completed his Ph.D. in Urban Planning & Policy. It was a 7-year goal that he took one step at a time.
Through the course of my hike I thought of Jesus’ call; “Come and follow Me and I will make you fishers of people”. I was reminded of the importance to:
- Focus on purpose. It is easier to keep putting one foot in front of the other by visualizing our purpose.
- Stay on course. With limited energy and time we can’t afford to get off course.
- Keep alert. Danger and opportunity can show up at any time. We need to stay aware of our surroundings while remaining open to surprises.
- Head in the right direction and keep on walking. In life, as in hiking, it is essential to make sure you are headed toward your desired destination. Then keep putting one foot in front of the other.